It’s time for Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme originally created by The Broke and the Bookish and now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Every week there is a new topic or theme to base your top ten list on. You can find more details about it and see the list of topics here.
I love this week’s topic! I mean, who doesn’t love a good library? I’ve seen some stunning pictures of minimalist, modern libraries on Pinterest, but I have to say I prefer the gaudy, traditional libraries with gorgeous Baroque architecture. I imagine they would smell deliciously musty and the books would all be leather bound or beautifully embossed *drools*. Here are some of the libraries from all over the world that I would love to visit one day.
1) Admont Abbey Library (Admont, Austria)
Built in 1776, Admont Abbey contains the world’s largest monastery library and is known for its Baroque architecture, art and manuscripts. It looks exquisite and reminds me of the library from Beauty and the Beast.
2) Strahov Library (Prague, Czech Republic)
Another monastery library that looks absolutely stunning! Just look at all that gorgeous dark wood. It boasts two grand baroque halls dating from the 17th and 18th centuries but visitors are unable to go inside them because it was found that fluctuations in humidity caused by the visitors’ breath could affect the paintings.
3) George Peabody Library (Baltimore, Maryland)
This is the research library of The Johns Hopkins University and was built in the 19th century. I love the clean and structured design, it makes me feel oddly calm.
4) Palace of Mafra Library (Mafra, Portugal)
This beautiful rococo (late baroque) library is 88 m long, 9.5 m wide and 13 m high with a magnificent marble and tile floor. It contains over 36,000 leather-bound books dating back from the 14th to the 19th century. The library is known for housing bats which eat any insects and stop them from damaging the books!
5) Royal Portuguese Cabinet of Reading (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
The institution was founded in 1837 by a group of Portuguese immigrants to promote culture among the Portuguese community. It was elected the 4th most beautiful library in the world by Time magazine.
6) Trinity College Library (Dublin, Ireland)
This is the largest library in Ireland the permanent home to the Book of Kells, an illuminated and illustrated display of the four gospels of the New Testament dating from 800AD.
7) Sainte-Geneviève Library (Paris, France)
This incredible public and university library constructed around 1850 contains over 2 million documents! The library’s interior was used in the filming of the movie Hugo.
8) The Bodleian Library (Oxford, England)
The Bodleian is the main research library of Oxford University and one of the oldest libraries in Europe. It contains over 12 million items and is the second-largest library in Britain after the British Library.
J. R.R Tolkien studied at Oxford and many of his manuscripts are now in the library. It’s been used in the filming of several movies and TV shows, including The Golden Compass and Harry Potter.
9) Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library (New Haven, Connecticut)
This is one of the more modern libraries that I like, built in 1963. It’s the rare book library and literary archive of Yale University Library. It’s one of the largest buildings in the world entirely dedicated to rare books and manuscripts.
10) Bibliotheca Alexandrina (Alexandria, Egypt)
This modern library and cultural centre was built to commemorate the Library of Alexandria, one of the largest and most significant libraries of the ancient world. The original library was famously burned down during Caesar’s Civil War in 48 BC. The new library, finished in 2002, contains books in Arabic, English and French and is now the main French library in Africa.
Before you go…
Which of these libraries would you most like to visit? Are there any not on my list that I should check out?